Donkey Kong Country Returns review

We’ve seen Donkey and Diddy Kong appear on various games for the Wii and DS over the past couple of years but Donkey Kong Country Returns goes back to the days of the SNES classic and brings the platformer right up to date. The game begins with some strange masks with hypnotic powers emerging from a volcano and hypnotising all the animals so they can steal DK’s stockpile of bananas. For some reason Mr Kong is immune so goes on the rampage with his little buddy to get them all back.

The game’s a side-scrolling platformer with some 3D depth as you fire yourself around in barrels and can be played solo or with a friend. Play on your own and Diddy Kong can hop on your back at the touch of a button and with a friend you can both do your own thing or get together to find some extra height when trying to collect those bananas, coins and those KONG tokens scattered around each level.

There’s nothing particularly new or inventive here but it’s a solid platformer which can be punishing at times but that’s what they’re all about after all. Unfortunately there is some forced shaking of the Wii Remote and Nunchuck in places when you have to ‘ground pound’ and occasionally for jumping. When the game sometimes calls for you to be very precise in your movements this can lead to some sudden deaths which can be frustrating but this by no means breaks the game. Play with just the remote on its side and you can press a button to ground pound instead.

This game actually gets harder and better the more you play through the 8 worlds. There are bosses to fight, mine karts to race in and loads of other cool spins on the 2D side-scrolling platformer genre that genuinely give Mario a run for his money.

And if you fancy an extra challenge you can of course go back and try to collect everything in every level and even do the time trials which believe me, will take you an age to accomplish. If you like hardcore platform games this is the one to get – luckily they’ve included an auto-play option if you do get stuck and just want to get to the next level. Donkey Kong Country Returns gets a fruity 9 out of 10.

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Donkey Kong Country Returns review pics

Donkey Kong Country Returns review screenshots

Related: Donkey Kong Country for the Wii, DK Jungle Climber review, Donkey Kong Country Returns review on Youtube

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1 Response

  1. I remember that when I first started playing this game, the controls felt a little slippery, but it probably from being used to how the old controls from the original Donkey Kong Country games felt. It also feels easier to control when you have Diddy Kong with you (using his jetpack). The game can be really tough with two people playing, because the screen doesn’t zoom out like the New Super Mario Bros Wii game does, and if someone leaves the screen they generally will lose a life pretty quickly. After a little while your lives will go down pretty fast. So, usually it was a lot easier for one person to play unless you felt like having a challenge (or a few laughs). The punching movements at the end of boss fights was fun, especially after a tough fight, you can unleash your frustration while actually completing a goal, lol. The game really shines with all of the extras in the levels, I noticed that all of the KONG letters were usually easy to find along the way, while the puzzle pieces were mostly hidden. Some of the puzzle pieces took some ingenuity to find. (actually, after finishing the game, I made it a project to work through the game and make a very thourough description of each level, including the puzzle piece locations. It’s only about half-done, but maybe some people might be able to use what there is so far: http://www.brighthub.com/video-games/wii/articles/97966.aspx) My personal favorite unlockables from the game are the dioramas, they show off the games amazing graphics in a controllable 360 degree view, with some zooming ability. The scenes in the dioramas are pretty entertaining, too, it’s exciting whenever you unlock one. The last thing I remember having a little trouble with… Was the rolling, since you have to shake the remote instead of pressing the “run” button like the previous games, and most of the times if you rolled and jumped, it would fling you past where you wanted to land with little control. But once again, I got used to it. The game looks great, plays well (once you’re used to the controls) and is definitely one of my favorite Wii games.

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